Barney Frank: If You’re an Atheist Politician, Don’t Call Yourself an Atheist

Maurice Vega

25 Responses

  1. In Spain three leaders from five great parties identify themselves as atheists. They have like 60% of the votes and another minority party has an atheist leader and they recieved 5% of the votes, so around 65-70% of votes go to atheist leaders and pretty secular and laicists parties

  2. He is suggesting a double faced approach, he is an atheist one hand, but has no problem to take advantage of people's naivities. Dishonest.

  3. I am disappointed at how ignorant Barney Frank comes across here.  It's as though he has no idea of how successful the out campaign has worked for the LGBT community; no idea of the insane problems we face with religion in politics in this country today; no concept of the way the general public thinks and behaves; etc.  If every person that doesn't have an active belief in any particular god came out as an atheist today, there would be no more wide spread fear and hatred for the "A" word.  Some polls show that American's distrust atheists more than rapists (look it up).  Why is that?  Is that because non-believers commit more rapes and/or crimes in general than believers?  No, in fact reality is exactly the opposite (look it up).  Is it because non-believers are statistically less educated, less productive for society?  No, in fact reality is exactly the opposite (look it up).  It's because people fear and often hate what they do not know or understand.  This isn't news.  When people find out that their favorite good neighbor, work associate, cousin, sibling, whatever – is an atheist – they tend to stop thinking that atheists all hide out in dark corners eating babies.  If you're running for office, do your chances of getting elected go down if you come out as an atheist?  Generally, yes (depending on the jurisdiction).  How do you change that though?  You encourage people to be open about who they are.  When everyone realizes that there are atheists everywhere (and there are… look it up) and they aren't any different than everyone else, all that fear and hatred will diminish to an insignificant extant.  Will there still be ignorant morons that fear and hate atheists?  Of course there will be.  Just like there are still plenty of ignorant morons that fear and hate African Americans…. but look who got elected to the highest office; and he sure didn't hide that fact while he was running, now did he?  Oh, what's that Barney?  You personally not being convinced or compelled to believe in any particular god offends someone or hurts their feelings – and you think we should all be concerned about that?  You also want to make sure we don't accidentally be honest about who we are and maybe explain why it doesn't matter regarding our ability to do our jobs?  Grow up.  Both of you.  The person that needs you to lie about who you are in order to not make them hate and distrust you on account of their own fearful ignorance; and you for thinking that's a good argument.  Shame on you for publicly making such a general recommendation Barney.  Just pitiful.

  4. There are higher rates of atheism among Jews than non-Jews, and the atheist Jews are much more likely to intermarry, which is very sad because when an ethnic group intermarries this much, it difuses, eventually losing its collective identity and disappearing as an ethnic group altogether. The only alternative capable of preventing this is Zionism.

  5. Confirmation that even the most dishonest politician can tell the truth once in awhile.  Ironically he's doing it while offering the advice, "Lie."  He's right that his views on religion are not relevant to his ability to legislate.  Unfortunately America's "moral majority" seems to think it is, despite the Constitution's bans on any "religious test" for qualification.  That said, some could argue that his legislative decisions may have, to some extent, required support (via taxes) for programs that violate some citizens' religious beliefs…a very hazy line and a very slippery slope.  Overall though, I'm amazed to be Liking a Barney Frank video.

  6. This geezer spoke with reason and integrity and still he gets 221 thumbs down, jeez there's no getting through to some people.

  7. Hmm that's funny, Drugs is a source people use to feel good or be happy. The motives of drugs arnt always good. Drugs cause people to shoot people. The difference is religion is legal.

  8. The USA will never be smart enough to accept an openly atheist president in the lifetime of anyone now living. There will be a woman president, an Asian president, a Jewish president (who might secretly be an atheist), a Muslim president, a Hindu president, a Buddhist president and a gay president before there is an atheist president.

  9. I find it ironic that Barney Frank felt it more important to come out as the first openly gay member of Congress than as an atheist member of Congress.

    Just shows how much prejudice there is against atheists.

  10. Mostly wise words, but I disagree with what he said at the end.  You don't have to keep behind the scenes during holidays that you don't celebrate.  Just my opinion.

  11. yes, if you want to run for public office in america, don't publicize your atheism….thank you for yet again pointing out the obvious, Big Think.

  12. No joke. As an outside observer. I would make the joking comment that I am psychic since I can predict the next 'president' will be Is ra ELs beotch. Seems I'm better at this one than picking lottery numbers.

  13. We've elected a mentally challenged president (Bush). A none white president (Obama). And next year we'll elect a woman (Clinton). I think it'll be a long long time before we elect a non religious person. I hope I'm wrong about that though.

  14. Religion doesn't reserve this respect that it gets. You know who does? Orphans. Homeless. War refugees. War veterans. Ex convicts who don't know how to reintegrate.

  15. I think that the problem is that too many people see athiesm as ANTI-thiesm these days, but that isn't how it should be.

  16. Barney is wrong. We need atheists who are proud of their atheism and stand tall. Eventually, the walls will come down.

  17. It's weird how a nation founded on secularism has such a massive stigma against nonbelievers. In England we even have an established church that is linked with the state and yet we've had multiple atheist prime ministers.

  18. Sorry Big Think, I don't like your content anymore. Thers not alot of big thought in your big thinks.
    Could anyone please exolain the point he is putting forward? idk.

  19. Once a closet case, always a closet case.

    "it comes across as a repudiation of religion"

    Because that's what it IS, sweetie. 

    You know, GAY comes across as a repudiation of having sex with people of different sex than yourself.  Because it is.

    Unlike Frank, when atheists come out, it won't be because of a crime.

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